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Thread: Mindful approach

  1. #1

    Mindful approach

    Hi,

    Iīve mentioned before (in my presentation) that for some time I have been following the teachings by Thich Nhat Hanh. I really enjoy his mindful approach to everyday life, being here and now in every breath as he might express it, so Iīm wondering if the Insta-Zazen practice is the same kind of approach?

    A sidenote:

    A while back I stumbled across a teaching by (I think it was) a Soto teacher who said that one should not attempt to be mindful, instead trust that the zazen practice is all that is needed, or something like that. How does Soto relate to being mindful?

    Janne

  2. #2
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi Janne,

    Nice to have you around. You have to ask the very inventor of the thing but my answer is: no. When we wash the dishes, we wash the dishes, we are not the specator or the seer of the process. We are dropping the watcher. We just do and are one with what we do. Exactly as sneezing, coughing, meeting a great friend after a longtime... nobody left to watch, just one with the action. You may have a peep at the oxherding pictures and some of the vids, this one in particular: http://www.treeleaf.org/sit-a-long/arch ... es-vi.html.

    Or listen to Jundo in an old thread:

    As I was walking down Mt. Tsukuba with Hans yesterday, on a really steep incline of small muddy stones, I had to be mindful of what I was doing right there ... all to avoid falling on my butt in the mud

    That's when I started thinking, "ah, yes, this is a time of mindfulness, there is balance of bodymind and I am present in this moment ... and I must tell the Treeleafers about it!" At which point, so filled with such wonderful thoughts was I, that I became distracted ... and slipped in the mud. (Fortunately, not enough so that butt hit stone).

    I think that there are times to be mindful in our practice, and great lessons are to be learned there ... drinking a cup of tea as the only and perfect act in the whole universe of that moment, the same for "Oryoki" meals during a Sesshin, "just being" in the moment, when washing the floor "just washing the floor". I think it does have the simplicity that Will and Alberto describe, and I think it is much like the "Mindbodyfull-ness" that Harry coined ... Harry is a Jazz musician, solo-ing on stage and all that, so he knows something of the topic.

    But the one point I really really really wish to emphasize to folks is not to be too idealistic about what "mindfulness" is, or set it up as some unrealistic goal. I described it recently when I said this ...

    [Folks encounter lots of Zen teachings like the one mentioned by Master Seung Sahn, "when you eat, just eat. When you sleep just sleep..."] But I thinkthat Master Seung Sahn's phrasing, like many Zen books and expressions, can sound rather idealistic if it implies that we must be "mindful" or in "Zen Mind" 24/7. My view is more balanced I think, namely, "when mindful of one thing, just be mindful of one thing ... when distracted, overwrought and multi-tasking, just be distracted, overwrought and multi-task". There is a time for everything, and we cannot be "mindful" each minute. All of it is life.

    However, one of the great fruits of our Zen Practice is that, even when we are distracted, overwrought and multi-tasking, feeling completely miserable and off balance ... and even when "Zen Mind" feels very far away ... we can still know it is 'there' even if we do not feel it at that moment [the blue sky always behind the clouds]. So I say, when feeling completely "miserable and off balance", just be "miserable and off balance" in that moment ... it too is a temporary state of mind.

    So, in other words, have a balanced and realistic view of life ... even a balanced view of sometimes or frequently being unbalanced, overworked, distracted and such.

    When falling on your butt in the mud because you were thinking about "mindfulness" ... JUST DO THAT! IT TOO IS A PERFECT ACT IN THAT MOMENT!!


    Thich Nhat Hanh's precious teachings are strongly influenced vispassayana. As far as Soto is concerned, mindfullness as the action of being aware of somebody doing something...is not necessary. It is extra.

    gassho


    Taigu


    Taigu

  3. #3

    Re: Mindful approach

    Yes, I believe that there are times to be "mindful" ... times not. Sometimes when I eat, I just eat ... when I sip tea, I just sip tea ... when bowing, just bowing ... fully absorbed in that action. A wonderful, insightful practice. When doing one thing, just do one thing with full attention.

    At other times, I just grab a sandwich and a coke while reading the newspaper and thinking about the job I have to do. That's life too.

    (I do not know where the idea started among some folks that the 'goal' of this practice is to live the first way every moment of every day. What's wrong with also sometimes reading the paper, thinking about work, while grabbing a quick sandwich? There is a place for all of that.)

    Another, rather different meaning of "mindful" often found in Buddhism (and Thich Nhat Hanh's wonderful teachings) is to develop awareness of the "mind theatre" running constantly in our heads (developing the ability to identify the thoughts and emotions that play through our heads, and how they create our experience of "reality" ... e.g., "now I am temporarily sad" "now I am reacting with anger") That is a wonderful, insightful practice too ... very very important ... but I caution against thinking that you must or can do that 24/7.

    In my view, the heart of this Practice is merely "being at one" with self-life-world just as it is ... dropping the resistance, barriers, separation between our "self" and all the circumstances in which that "self" imagines it finds itself in ... until even the walls between "self" and "life-world" (or self and itself) soften or even fully drop away ...

    So, for example, when drinking tea, just do that and fully allow that. When grabbing a sandwich while reading the paper and thinking about your annoying co-worker in the office, just do that and fully allow that (and fully allow the craziness in the newspaper and your annoying co-worker too).** When you kid plops in your lap during Zazen, just do and allow that ( http://www.shambhalasun.com/sunspace/?p=16432 ) When temporarily falling into sadness or anger, just do and allow that (although remember that "mind theatre" and see if you truly need to be that way, and seek to be not that way if you can). When overwrought with life for a moment, just do that and fully allow that (remembering in the back of your mind that the clear, boundless blue sky is behind the clouds of thought and emotion even when momentarily covered over). When suffering with old age and sickness of ourself or someone we love (as was discussed on another thread today), just do that and fully allow that.

    In my view, all of the above together is truly balanced, "mindful" living.

    Gassho, Jundo

    ** PS - "fully allowing" does not mean necessarily "fully allowing". :shock: We have something called "acceptance-without-acceptance" around here ... So, for example, we can "fully allow and be one with" the wars and pollution described in the newspaper or the bothersome person at work or the sickness we are suffering ... yet take steps to deal with each too. Not mutually exclusive perspectives.

  4. #4

    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi.

    I can only concur with the things said above, when doing this do this, when doing that do that.
    If that means being mindful, then be mindful.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  5. #5

    Re: Mindful approach

    Taigu,

    You said (in your talk) that one should just allow it be (the doing, the being, the awareness), and not take pictures of it. And yes, thats true, because otherwise itīs only thinking of being mindful, not being mindful it self.

    But still, there has to be an approach, a gentle way of getting awareness to expand in ones life. We can not just go about, not being aware, lost in thoughts, or in forgetfulness (the word Thay often uses). One should continously bring back the awareness of the present moment, but leave the camera behind, the camera which is only the thinking mind trying to grasp, or think itīs way to being, like trying to bite ones own tail.

    About Jundos quote, who is the jazz musician, Harry? Iīm curious, as a jazz musician myself...

    Jundo,

    Yes, earlier when I was doing the mindfulness approach I thought that one should try to be mindful 24/7, as Thay seems to be saying, but I have later realized that it canīt really be possible to be mindful every single second, otherwise it becomes a struggle of something to attain. And that is simply part of the learning process, which when actually being mindful one understands that it is a dynamic approach, not stiff like a rock just standing in a soldier like attention.

    BUT I would say that one can NEARLY be mindful all the time, a lot of the time. And when multi-tasking, or engaged in thinking this or that, one should be able to stop (to unhook, to take a step back from) the doing, the thinking, not being lost in itīs grasp .

  6. #6

    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi Janne
    I had that issue with the observer/"fully in" duality. I am not sure whether Thich actually means one should look in, because he is very much into feeling the emotions and not being separate. After many years of this issue being my koan, if you like, I think we can be fully in and fully aware at the same time. I wonder if its just bad linguistics that left us thinking otherwise? When a teacher says observe the emotion in your body then we have bad linguistics. Many folks will then (having a visual bias) make semi-conscious pictures of the area the emotion is in and picture it (some will even be fully unaware) . If the teacher said just fully feel it, then the duality collapses. We can sit feeling fully without losing the clear sapce around as we fully know the emoting thats happening. I think this is perhaps where the mindfulness of all traditions is the same.
    Rich

  7. #7

    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi Rich,

    Yes, words donīt always reach to what is beyond the words, and as you say fully in or out there is probably no such separation. To be aware is simply to be aware. But my question is more about how to bring the way of just sitting in to everyday life. And I will try to approach the insta-zazen and see where it goes.

  8. #8

    Re: Mindful approach

    I have just been listening to Stephen Batchelor's 4 excellent video talks presently available on
    Tricycle Magazine. Based around the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path he mentions
    among other things that we are mindful of everything that arises in our field of awareness, no matter
    how painful or disturbing it may be. How we respond to it, that alone is what really matters.
    Doing the dishes perhaps the thought arises how we hate this chore - :mrgreen: - we become aware
    of it, let it go, and go back to the dishes.

    Jenny

  9. #9

    Re: Mindful approach

    Oh, that guy, heīs a pain in the butt, he really hates doing the dishes and getting up early in the morning... :P

    Youīre right, that alone is what really matters.

  10. #10
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi guys,

    You are making a lot of fuss about washing the dishes. Washing the dishes is washing the dishes, beyond you, dishes, observer, observed, feelings or not...

    Thank you Jenny,

    Take care


    gassho


    Taigu

  11. #11

    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi Taigu
    True what you say on one level but also a big problem on another. When I first bought Thich Nhat Hahns "Miracle of Mindfulness" almost twenty years ago I followed the book with my understanding and developed a little observer that was very detached from my life. It made things worse- life was not worth living as a Vulcan! The language used, and teachers use it still, can set up what seems to me now to be an "extra" thats going in the wrong direction- this little observer.
    Hi Janne
    For me the way around the problem was to be intensely engaged in FEELING the water, the dish, the movement- forgetting the OBSERVING instruction. It also helps me by using sound also. LISTEN to the kettle boiling when making tea, HEAR the click of the jar opening, HEAR the spoon clinking as we stir the drink. Moving to another sensory input that takes us from observing can be a useful method to "fall into the experience mindfully". Then we discover just hearing, just feeling etc. When this becomes natural then just looking is also something that falls into place. Nothing is different really but the added mental concepts and self-consciousness go away..and when they do pop back (if they do) then they can be mindfully experienced too- fully and completely IN them. Does this make sense? Please give it a go with the hearing and most importantly perhaps, feeling, and let us know the results of your experiments.
    I hope this proves useful.
    All the best to everyone
    Rich

  12. #12

    Re: Mindful approach

    Just an added thought: Perhaps this is more a problem for those of us who are more cerebral in general. As well as being a gift that led me into training as a physicist originally it also can become a defense- a place to live when the present is not nice. Without conscious awareness these patterns are set up for one reason or another and we live one step removed from life. Possibly this is a problem most of us may have had but I think there might be degrees. I know, for me, I was so far removed from just feeling and hearing (and still can be sometimes) that interpreting the instructions to mean developing the little observer even more was a natural way of reading those instructions (and hearing those teachers). Its not been that long since the duality collapsed when I discovered what I posted above.
    Ram Dass mentions the problem too- he says in the beginning it was natural for him to have a little observer and to observe everything detachedly but this collapsed at some point all on its own, in his case.
    Its quite a big change for those of us that do this to go from watching our abdomen rise and fall from up here in our heads to just feeling the whole body as one that is breathing as we sink into the experience of being and not watching. Then it just seems the same as before- we are still noticing but somehow its all different. For me it was wonderful and I understood for the first time fully that all the things that happened weren't suffering. The pains in my body weren't anything more than pains- there was no held onto observer to mentally suffer, just the feelings. The first day I went through like this was amazing- nothing was any different but I didn't suffer. I was just tired, just in pain, just happy, just walking, just bored but I wasn't adding bits to it like, "when I go even further boredom wont arise at all", or "this is painful/unpleasant". Really I'm saying the pain wasn't a pain it was just a sensation, exactly the same as pain but not. Of course I think at some future point the practice may well take me to not being bored at times etc etc but its not a concern. I say this in the same way that on occasion I have had the "pain" sensations intensely and felt incredibly joyful at the same time. This has happened on rare occasions, but the feeling sensations as sensations I have been talking about here is enough- there's no suffering and adding a goal of being joyful with it is just making the now wrong. At the same time it may well be that the glimpses of joy might increase as I let go- who knows. When just experiencing in this way attaching to either (the now or the future possible) isn't even an issue that comes to mind- until I write trying to explain something that hopefully will make a difference for someone else and have to focus on "wording" all this.
    Rich

  13. #13
    disastermouse
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    Re: Mindful approach

    Taigu is right, IMHO, in that the way most people come to understand 'Mindfulness', they create a subtle witness.

    There are ways to practice walking, etc, with diffuse shikantaza-like awareness, but when this happens, walking is doing the walking - there is no observer, no subtle witness - the sensations are having themselves, in a sense. At least, this is my experience.

    Chet

  14. #14

    Re: Mindful approach

    Rich,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Iīve mostly enjoyed doing the mindful practices by Thay, but I can say that allthough the practice often is effortless it sometimes is in need of effort, and those times one can feel a bit of a separation between the experience and the self watching. Maybe that is the same thing you are expressing, and itīs probably created with the mind trying to experience rather then being fully there, trying to experince something more (or less) then what is, or thinking itīs way to being, analyzing. I used to be comfused about if I should focus on this or that when being mindful, it was a puzzle, like when walking outside should I focus on the feet or the sounds or what, because the instructions often given (and thereīs the linguistics problem again) are with focus given to the feet and breath. But now when approaching shikantaza I just let it all be as it is, whatever focus, being with what is there.

    Chet, and Taigu

    I agree, I also share the same experience as you descibe it.

  15. #15
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Mindful approach

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne H
    Rich,

    Thanks for sharing.

    Iīve mostly enjoyed doing the mindful practices by Thay, but I can say that allthough the practice often is effortless it sometimes is in need of effort, and those times one can feel a bit of a separation between the experience and the self watching. Maybe that is the same thing you are expressing, and itīs probably created with the mind trying to experience rather then being fully there, trying to experince something more (or less) then what is, or thinking itīs way to being, analyzing. I used to be comfused about if I should focus on this or that when being mindful, it was a puzzle, like when walking outside should I focus on the feet or the sounds or what, because the instructions often given (and thereīs the linguistics problem again) are with focus given to the feet and breath. But now when approaching shikantaza I just let it all be as it is, whatever focus, being with what is there.

    Chet, and Taigu

    I agree, I also share the same experience as you descibe it.
    In my experience, it's not the thoughts that create the separation - it's the illusion of an entity that is experiencing...the feeling of a focal point, the localization of sensation. Why does the sound of the bird seem like it's coming from 'outside' but the feeling of hunger feels as though it's 'internal' or 'mine'?

    Chet

  16. #16

    Re: Mindful approach

    Chet, I agree there is an outside and inside and I don't know why but I really love those birds

    /Rich.

  17. #17

    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi Chet
    I wasnt disagreeing with Taigu in the sense of what we are doing. In fact that was exactly what I was saying. The trouble is that the teachings and/or some of our minds get it wrong and so I was trying to present a skilful means to address problems such as these.
    Also the "entity that is experiencing" comes from thought. It is, in my experience so far anyway, a more subtle level of thoughts. However, I agree entirely with you saying it feels like a focal point.
    Hi Janne
    Yes I agree. I also don't think there is an issue regarding focussing either in reality. Whether we focus on the whole body,or a part of the whole like the feet, or even the birds singing is not a problem if we are fully immersed in the experience but awake. I too have spent many years though, like you, getting caught in all these different things- and I will probably spend many years getting caught by other things as well!
    Have a great day chaps
    Rich

  18. #18

    Re: Mindful approach

    One last thing..I really like Seung Sahn's short pithy sayings..."Keep don't know mind" and "Don't check yourself"...

  19. #19
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Mindful approach

    I think that the difference between a shikantaza based 'mindfulness' and 'mindfulness' from a Theravada point of view is one of 'Sink into and dissolve' vs. 'float above and observe'.

    In shikantaza or Zen 'mindfulness', the sense of a focal point or the subtle sense of self 'sinks into the activity and dissolves' (I'm giving an image here, not making a philosophical statement) wherein most 'mindfulness' actually creates a neutral observer that 'floats above and observes' activity. I think you can see how these are very, very different.

    Chet

  20. #20

    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi Chet

    Yes, thats what we were saying but I am suggesting it might be a linguistic problem rather than an actual problem. Of course I don't know this but watching some of the jolly Theravadin masters its difficult to accept that they are living in the detached way that left me Vulcanised!

    All the best

    Rich

  21. #21
    disastermouse
    Guest

    Re: Mindful approach

    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly
    Hi Chet

    Yes, thats what we were saying but I am suggesting it might be a linguistic problem rather than an actual problem. Of course I don't know this but watching some of the jolly Theravadin masters its difficult to accept that they are living in the detached way that left me Vulcanised!

    All the best

    Rich
    I think it's just a natural misunderstanding of what 'mindfulness' really is/means. It's just another example to point out that we need guidance from others who've been there.

    Chet

  22. #22

    Re: Mindful approach

    What a lovely clear explanation Rich gave us of using the senses for being mindfully present.
    The Great Way is there to be entered as each moment of our life arises and passes - the richness
    is there if we just waken up to it, and, of course, it slips away for the next moment to arise.
    And with such simple things too, that we take for granted. Just sipping a cup of tea. Watching the
    wind blow the cherry blossoms, - or taking out the garbage!

    Jenny

  23. #23
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Mindful approach

    When I first started getting into a Buddhist practice in 2003, I was very drawn to Thich Nhat Hanh's teachings and the practice of 'mindfulness.'

    The way I practiced mindfulness was very 'concentration based.' My 'idea' of what 'mindfulness' was 'supposed to be like' was to be completely concentrated on the task at hand. Of course, this naturally arose from my sitting practice, which was also concentration-based at the time.

    I had a lot of 'success' with this in the beginning. I had wonderful experiences of being completely focused on the meal I was eating, chewing slowly and tasting all the subtle nuances of the food I was eating that was missed when I ate with less concentrated attention. I had wonderful experiences of mindful baths, yoga, walking, cleaning, etc.

    But I was not able to maintain this practice for too long. When life started getting more hectic and my mind more busy, I felt like I could 'no longer 'do' mindfulness' and abandoned the practice/effort. Because I equated mindfulness with a completely still mind. I thought mindfulness could not be 'achieved' if the mind was caught in discursive thought. So when my mind was no longer able to become as still, I stopped 'trying.'

    The wonderful new approach to 'mindfulness' that I have developed through shikantaza practice is that whatever is going on in the mind is an object of attention also. It is a practice of constantly noticing when I am becoming distracted. I notice what my mind is doing and let go. I'm no longer trying to stop or control my mind or make it do something different, I'm just noticing whatever it is actually doing. Which means that I am mindful more of the time, because any time I notice I am distracted, or lost in thought, I just notice and come back, even if I've been 'lost' for 3 hours. Just notice, 'unhook' as Chet puts it, and come back.

    I find it a lot more interesting to just notice whatever is going on in the moment than constantly trying to control or change my mind.

  24. #24

    Re: Mindful approach

    Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing.

    I totally can see myself in your story, and I also lean towards the shikantaza way of accepting all that is, even the discursive thoughts. The stillness is still there, and shines through when letting go or unhooking as you say, and itīs expression is of a more living dynamic sort, which is great, I think. It is still a mindful approach, but with a more balanced flavor.

    Although, I still return to the breath when my mind "is way out" there, just to bring it back to this moment, to be able to be with it all.

    Yet, this is a new discovery for me, the Soto way, which I have only begun to unravel.

    Janne

  25. #25

    Re: Mindful approach

    Quote Originally Posted by Janne H
    Hi Stephanie, thanks for sharing.

    I totally can see myself in your story, and I also lean towards the shikantaza way of accepting all that is, even the discursive thoughts. The stillness is still there, and shines through when letting go or unhooking as you say, and itīs expression is of a more living dynamic sort, which is great, I think. It is still a mindful approach, but with a more balanced flavor.

    Although, I still return to the breath when my mind "is way out" there, just to bring it back to this moment, to be able to be with it all.

    Yet, this is a new discovery for me, the Soto way, which I have only begun to unravel.

    Janne
    Now that sounds like a way of "mindfulness" that is powerful and practical. In fact, it sounds like my own practice. It is the main way to bring this practice "off the cushion". In whatever situation, when caught up in thoughts and emotions, just notice briefly the current scenery in the "mind theatre" and unhook, "Insta-zazening" right there. The stillness is always there, and will shine through the passing thoughts and emotions just by letting go or "unhooking". Then, the mind's shadows will be experienced in a new light, and thought-emotions will be tasted differently, illuminated or dropped away. It is most useful in moments of extreme or unbalanced emotions (in fear, anger, stress, lust), but can happen at any life moment at all ... even the simplest and most ordinary.

    I would just offer, again, a voice of moderation even on this. Most of life can just be lived as life ... no need to notice or do anything. Trying to do or change the situation actually removes us from life. Just "notice and unhook" a few times during one's day, and that is good practice. Do not seek or force oneself to be that way "all the time, morning through night" unless ... for example ... at a retreat or during an intensive practice period or as a once in awhile special practice (that is, in my experience, how most Zen monks ... and I have known my share! ... actually live most of the time, not forcing themselves to do anything to change most life moments.) Just try to notice the "mind theatre's" scenery a few times a day and release, turning the light inward, allowing the light to shine through and shine out.

    However, by doing so ... as time passes ... one will likely come to see that this starts to happen automatically, and becomes something present throughout one's life ... available at any time ... even without need to seek to do it! For example, yesterday I went into hectic Tokyo ... crowds, packed trains, stresses, noise ... and my mind began to become stressed, tired and noisy. Time and again, however, I found I would "turn" the situation into something quite other ... spacious, free, balanced and quiet ... just naturally. The cloudiness would part revealing the open sky, or the bright sky would be seen through the clouds ... even walking the busy city streets.

    Gassho, J

  26. #26

    Re: Mindful approach

    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    I would just offer, again, a voice of moderation even on this. Most of life can just be lived as life ... no need to notice or do anything. Trying to do or change the situation actually removes us from life. Just "notice and unhook" a few times during one's day, and that is good practice. Do not seek or force oneself to be that way "all the time, morning through night" unless ... for example ... at a retreat or during an intensive practice period or as a once in awhile special practice (that is, in my experience, how most Zen monks ... and I have known my share! ... actually live most of the time, not forcing themselves to do anything to change most life moments.) Just try to notice the "mind theatre's" scenery a few times a day and release, turning the light inward, allowing the light to shine through and shine out.
    Jundo,

    I know you didn't write this to me, and I don't mean to butt in on this thread,
    but thank you so much for this "voice of moderation." It always seems to come
    when I need it most (Always! :shock: ). I have such an easy time getting carried
    away with myself, becoming too serious about things, being compulsive, and it
    is nice to have this voice calling me back to the "middle way." Please don't
    interpret this as "butt kissing." :mrgreen:

    gassho

    greg

  27. #27

    Re: Mindful approach

    Just out of interest I was sitting in bed last night reading a book by a chap that had been a Theravadin monk for a few years and he talked about mindfulness in the same way as I was trying to put it. He says the Theravadin way ISN'T to have a little observer, which was nice to find as one's little self always likes confirmation! lol

    I remember somewhere it being written that culture might be the cause for the dispute they might have spoken like this but cannot recall the exact words so can't say more.

    He (the monk) did also go on to talk about being aware of the thought stream in detail though, so some differences to shikantaza, but he made some valid points about how that might relate to the last two of the noble tenfold path..number nine specifically.

    Rich

  28. #28

    Re: Mindful approach

    Also just been starting a book by one of the Thai forest tradition masters- one of Ajahan Chah's students. He specifically mentioned about not being self-conscious as we are mindful. It reads, to my mind at least, that the basics are the same there. He also talks of the precepts as being the way to create a harmonious community so people can concentrate on practice without much worry about safety and others' behaviour. Essentially the same thing as Dogen saying about cleanliness, eating pickles (I think) and other rules in Shobogenzo. So discipline, pragmatism and sitting are looking very similar. Of course there are differences to Shikantaza but I don't think this is an issue any more than within the Zen umbrella where we have breath following, counting and other devices across the traditions.
    Rich

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